The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has expressed concern about the widespread non-compliance with its rules at retail energy outlets.
This was stated by Dr Mustapha Lamorde, Executive Director of Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSE&C) of NMDPRA, on Wednesday in Lagos during a one-day stakeholder engagement on the ongoing incidents in the midstream and downstream of the Nigerian petroleum industry operations.
Lamorde stated that the engagement's goal was to demand sound HSE management in the depots/jetties and retail outlets operations in the downstream sector. He was represented by Ayo Cadoso, Regional Coordinator, Southwest.
He stated that the conversation was crucial for the industry to attain appropriate profitability, and the best way to do this is by managing HSE from a commercial viewpoint rather than just for compliance.
He asserts that relevant HSE issues have to be considered throughout managerial decision-making.
According to Lamorde, NMDPRA would always want to work with operators to educate them on the importance of completely adhering to all applicable health, safety, and environmental rules and regulations as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
He claimed that the agreement would also prevent the risks and dangers associated with unethical behaviour and statutory violation in the transportation of petroleum products, including petrol.
The elimination of accidents and the expense of replacing damaged components, which is a surefire road to profitability, according to Lamorde, calls for the development of awareness and a culture of safe operations.
“This will no longer be business as usual, it is now safety first, the NMDPRA will ensure that the aspirations of the Federal Government, bypassing the PIA, is achieved.
“The law had provided, in clear terms, that in case of negligence by any operator, such operator would be sanctioned accordingly.
“Although, our aim is not to sanction the operators but to ensure that operations are run in a safe manner to protect people, assets and the environment is the reason for today’s engagement.
“The HSE needs to be a front burner to attract the growth of the business, reduction of insurance premiums and protection of the public (which you are a member of) and for us to achieve the following, we must reawaken the safety consciousness in our operations,” he added.
According to Rukhayat Akanbi, HSE &C Team lead of NMDPRA, 412 fatalities and 244 incidents were reported between 2018 and 2023, while 173 fatalities and 103 incidents were reported in 2021, averaging one fatality every four days.
48 fatalities and 41 incidents have been reported thus far in 2022, Akanbi noted.
“In terms of accidents statistics, 39 per cent recorded in retail outlets, 13 per cent in vehicle tankers, 13 per cent each in refinery and gas facilities respectively, while 11 per cent was recorded in depots from 2018 to date.
“Retail outlets recorded the highest number of incidents over the years,” she said.
Akanbi provided advice for moving forward, saying that each station and vehicle needed to have enough earthing cables and hoses of different diameters for connection, discharge, and inspection before loading and unloading.
Akin Akinlade, Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Satellite Depot, Ejigbo, Lagos, responded on behalf of the marketers and praised NMDPRA for the safety-awareness campaign it has implemented at the majority of filling stations.
Akinlade promised that the Southwest zone of lPMAN will adopt the culture of teaching all attendants about petroleum in its operations.
He said the organisation has started construction on a training facility that would involve all of its members and employees in training.
“We appreciate NMDPRA for this laudable initiative towards organising discourse on Health, Safety, Environment and Community.
“We also appeal to NMDPRA support towards collaboration in the area of training and partnership,” he said.
The IPMAN, DAPPMAN, FRSC, Federal Fire Service, and NMDPRA representatives from the states of Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, and Osun were present.
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